Sustainable mobility through new design for die casting drive units
3/28/2023 Sustainability & CO2 neutrality Experts Know-how

Sustainable mobility through new design for die casting drive units

To meet the requirements of the electmobility sector, a manufacturer of lightweight components is using a new drive unit design for die casting machines at its site in China. A guest article on a collaboration between GF Casting Solutions and Bühler Group for sustainable mobility.

Service walks through a production hall in Suzhou.
Two man talking.

By 2027, the electric vehicle market in China is projected to reach a total revenue of US dollars 160 billion according to Statista. Compared to US dollars 59.47 million in 2020, it is clear that this sector is growing rapidly. This volume also establishes China as the biggest market for electric vehicles globally today. 

Suppliers to the automotive industry are confronted with many challenges, ranging from changing market dynamics to tense supply chains. One of these is GF Casting Solutions, a manufacturer of lightweight components in the mobility and energy segments. With more than 4,000 employees in 12 production sites worldwide, the division makes around 80 percent of its sales in the automotive segment. Having a regional presence in China contributes to the success of GF Casting solutions, this includes a site in Suzhou, close to Shanghai, that specializes in manufacturing and researching lightweight parts for the mobility sector.

A regional presence in China contributes to the company's success. This includes a site in Suzhou, near Shanghai, which specialises in the production and development of lightweight components for the mobility sector. To meet the demands of the market and make processes more sustainable, the manufacturer was looking for a partner.

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Cooperation for sustainable mobility

Making die casting more sustainable together

It was important to the company that the partner could guarantee support and service at all worldwide locations. The manufacturer chose the technology provider Bühler Group, with whom it has had a business relationship for more than 40 years. Both companies focus on improving the sustainability of the processes through a holistic view of the automotive value chain. 

Oliver Teich
We strongly believe that we can make a positive impact towards a more sustainable process by looking at the whole lifecycle of a product, starting at research and development and ending when a part arrives with the customer.
Oliver Teich, Chief Procurement Officer at GF Casting Solutions
In 2014 Bühler started developing the first simulations for the ServoDrive, a design for die casting drive units. By 2015, the development team was looking for industry partners to test this new solution with the aim of decreasing energy consumption and improving the sustainability of the die casting process. 
ServoDrive by Bühler Group In 2014 Bühler started developing the first simulations for the ServoDrive, a design for die casting drive units. 

A constant exchange of ideas

A ongoing exchange started, with regular meetings, on-site tests, and a bilateral knowledge exchange. Since 2018 the ServoDrive modules have been rolled out and tested for different machine sizes. The new drive unit design enables customers to save up to 40 percent of energy compared to the reference cycle, decreases the wear on the pumps therefore increasing their lifetime, increases pressure stability, and opens the possibility of predictive maintenance which in turn can increase the uptime of the cell. 

The manufacturer of lightweight components uses the ServoDrive at the Suzhou site to make the process more sustainable.

Two man walking towards a building.
Even after the development and implementation of the ServoDrive has been completed, the two companies remain in contact.

“We are still doing regular review meetings where we look at opportunities to collaborate further, on innovations, technologies, and technical performance,” says Teich. “We look at the whole portfolio, at the complete cell. And having an honest and trustful exchange is what makes this partnership so unique and fruitful, which will enable us to solve these challenges together.”
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Lukas Naef

Lukas Naef

Digital Content Project Coordinator

Bühler AG